Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Puppy Chow Cookies

Another....Pinterest find! I am a sucker for "puppy chow" or as most people know it, "Muddy Buddies". When I saw this recipe, I KNEW I had to give it a try. The fact that it was also gluten-free made it a plus since I have a couple friends with allergies to gluten. These didn't taste quite the same as puppy chow, but they were still quite yummy! I would make them again! The original recipe can be found here. The main change I made was how I coated the cookies. 

Puppy Chow Cookies


Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies with Chex Cereal:
* 1 Cup of Peanut Butter
* 1 Cup of Sugar
* 1 Egg
* 1/2 tsp of Baking Soda
* 1 tsp Vanilla
* 1 cup Rice Chex Cereal
* Pinch of Salt for sprinkling (optional)

* 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate)
* 1/4 Cup of Butter (or 2 Tbsp. coconut oil)
* Approx. 1 Cup Powdered Sugar

* Preheat oven to 350F

1. In a large bowl mix together 1c. PB, 1c. sugar, 1 egg, 1/2t. baking soda and 1t. vanilla.  Beat until well-blended.  Mixture will be crumbly. 

2. Lightly crush the Chex cereal into the PB mixture. (I crumbled with my hands). Mix with beater.

3. Carefully squish into small, teaspoon sized balls and place about an inch apart on a nonstick baking sheet. Dough will be very crumbly so be careful and think small!

4. Press balls of dough lightly with a fork.  Cross and press again.  Sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake for 9 minutes in the oven until cookies are slightly golden.

5. Let cookies cool completely. 

6. Melt chocolate in the microwave in a bowl. Mix in the butter or oil to make it easier to mix.

7. At this point the recipe suggests dipping each cookie and adding to a bag of sugar. This was too much for me, so I put all the cookies in a large bowl and added the chocolate and stirred (like I do with normal puppy chow).

8. Next add powdered sugar to a large container and carefully add the cookies. Shake carefully to make sure everything is coated. 

*It is suggested to store these in the fridge, though I just did an airtight container. 

White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Cookies

This was another Pinterest find. I actually had the ingredients and I love normal snickerdoodles, so it was a must-try. This was one of the best cookies I think I made this season and I would DEFINITELY make it again! You can find the recipe here.

White Chocolate Snickerdoodle Cookies

  • * 1 cup butter, chilled (I used margarine, which may have effected texture)
  • * 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • * 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • * 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • * 3.4 oz. package white chocolate instant pudding mix
  • * 2 large eggs
  • * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • * 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • * 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • * 1 tablespoon hot water
  • * 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • * 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • * 1/3 c. cinnamon-sugar for rolling (1/3 cup granulated sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Using a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth.

3. Add the 3/4c. brown sugar and 3/4c. sugar. Beat for 1-2 minutes, until nearly creamy.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time and mixing in between additions.

5. Dissolve the 1t. baking soda in the 1T. water. Add both the baking soda and the vanilla to the mixer and mix well. Mix in the 1/2t. salt and 1t. cinnamon.

6. Add the 2 1/2c. flour and pudding mix, and mix until dough forms.

7. Mix in the 2c. white chocolate chips using a wooden spoon or spatula.

8. Scoop dough by heaping tablespoons and roll in the cinnamon sugar before placing onto a parchment lined or silicon lined baking sheet, ~2 inches apart.

9. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are golden brown. 

10. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Disney Sugar Cookies

A while back I found a recipe online for "Disney" sugar cookies and pinned it. I've been dying to try it, so I gave it a go for my Christmas cookie bake-a-rama. These were actually VERY close to the real thing and I was SO excited and surprised! The only difference is that these cookies are very cake-y and don't have a crispy outer layer, like the Disney cookies do. I think I used light butter or margarine, so that might have effected the texture too. Either way, these are a must make if you love Disney World sugar cookies! The original recipe can be found here

Disney Sugar Cookies

* 3/4 cup white sugar
*1/4 cup powdered sugar
*1/4 cup brown sugar (if you prefer less of a brown sugar/caramelized taste, sub white sugar for this)
*1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup melted butter
* 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* Sprinkles or rock sugar(optional, your choosing)


1. Preheat your oven to 375F.

2. In a large bowl, mix first 6 ingredients.

3. In a separate smaller bowl, combine the rest except for the sprinkles/rock sugar.

4. Using a mixer, slowly add your small bowl flour mix to the wet ingredients until a sticky dough forms.

5. Create rounded spoonfuls or mounds. I made 6 large rounds and added my sprinkles/sugar to the tops of each. Place on a nonstick cookie sheet.

6. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the edges.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies

This is one of the many cookies I made for Christmas this year! It was originally a Pinterest recipe and can be found here. These were pretty good, though they were more cake-y than cookie in texture, and I think next time I would use milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies

  • * 1 cup butter, softened (I used margarine, which may have effected the texture)
  • * ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • * ¾ cup brown sugar
  • * 8 oz. Lite cream cheese, softened 
  • * 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • * 1 egg
  • * 2 ¼ cup flour 
  • * 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • * 1 teaspoon salt
  • * 2 cups Hershey's Baking Melts (I used mini semi-sweet chips)


1. Beat together the 1c. butter, 3/4c. sugar, 3/4c. brown sugar, and cream cheese in a bowl.

2. Add the egg and 1t. vanilla, mix well.

3. Mix together the 2 1/4c. flour, 1t. baking soda, and 1t. salt in a separate bowl. Gradually add to the wet ingredient bowl, scraping down the sides of the bowl as it mixed. 

4. Mix in the chocolates with a spoon.

5. Scoop by rounded tablespoons onto parchment lined baking sheets. 

6. Bake at 350 for 9-10 minutes, until the edges look set.

7. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to wire rack.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Pumpkin Better Than *Anything* Cake

I pinned this on Pinterest a while ago and actually made it back in November, but haven't had a chance to blog it until now. I made this for a teacher luncheon, which is why I changed the name. The original recipe can be found here. I made a few changes to "lighten" up this dish, though it was still very rich! 

Pumpkin Better Than *Anything* Cake

* 1 box yellow cake mix
* 1 (15oz.) can pumpkin puree (not pie mix)
* 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
* 1 (14oz.) can sweetened condensed milk, fat free
* 8 oz. cool whip, fat free
* 1/2 bag of Heath Bar Bits


1. In a large bowl, mix the cake mix, 1t. spice, and pumpkin puree until a batter forms.

2. Pour batter into a greased 9x13 dish and bake at 350 about 23-28 minutes. 

3. Remove cake from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.

4. Poke holes in the cake using the end of a wooden spoon.

5. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over cake, filling in the holes and soaking into the cake.

6. Put cake in the refrigerator 30 minutes.

7. Remove cake from the fridge and spread cool whip over the top of the cake.

8. Sprinkle heath over cake and refrigerate overnight, or at least 3-4 hours.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pizza Dip...in the Crock Pot!

Today was the October Dip Day at school, so, as usual, I had to try out a new dip! This was a Pinterest find that I adapted to be a little more health-savy and produce a larger amount. The original recipe can be found here.

Pizza Dip... in the Crock!

* 2 (8oz) blocks of reduced fat cream cheese
* 2 tsp. italian seasoning
* 2 tsp. garlic powder (I used my Melting Pot Garlic & Wine seaoning)
* 2 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (reserve 1/2 cup)
* 3/4 cup parmesan cheese (I actually forgot this ingredient and it didn't matter!)
* 2 (8oz.) jars pizza sauce
* 3/4 cup turkey pepperoni slices, cut into fourths

1. Put all ingrients into the crock EXCEPT the 1/2c. mozzarella and pepperonis.
2. Cook on low for an hour, then stir.
3. Add in pepperonis and continue to cook on low for another hour.
4. Turn to warm and top with reserved cheese and any additional pepperonis.
5. Serve hot! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Crock Pot Apple Crisp

My grandma (who is an AMAZING cook) came in town yesterday and I had the privelage of cooking for her in my own home. This was something I stressed about for weeks since I have never had the honor to do this! I went round and round about what I would cook and settled on some reliable desserts, but then a new one to try. This was my new recipe to try! The original recipe can be found here. I ran into a few troubles. Namely, after I started mixing I realized I didn't have quick oats. Not sure how much this effected the outcome, but I read that quick oats are a waste of time anyway, so I just used Old Fashioned. I also had the problem of way too much topping. That is up for debate as I feel like you can never really have too much topping, but ya. Finally, the apples were a bit mushy. My grandma suggested that if I wanted more crisp apples to throw in some Macintosh, though she assured me she enjoyed the mushiness. :-) Now for the recipe!

Crock Pot Apple Crisp

* 8-10 Jonathan apples, cored/peeled/sliced (6 cups)
* 1 1/2 cup flour
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 cup quick oats (or Old Fashioned)
* 3 tsp. cinnamon
* 3/4 cup butter, melted


1. Spray 6qt. crock pot with non-stick spray.

2. Carefully add at least 6 cups of apples to crock pot.

3. Mix remaining ingredients except butter. 

4. Add butter last and pour over apples.

5. Cover crock pot with a towel (to help with catching moisture) before placing lid on.

6. Cook on high for 2 1/2 hours, then change to warm until ready to serve.

7. Serve with ice cream! Butter Pecan is best!

Lentil Chili

I only recently stumbled upon lentils. For the longest time I thought they were these weird green things (I think I thought they were leeks), but then I discovered they are a powerhouse legume and nice and low in fat! I made an entire bag of them (yes, they are also cheap!) and played around with them. I made some stuff tex-mex peppers, but I was dying to try them in a chili. I searched pinterest and found this recipe. You can see the original recipe here. I decided to almost double the recipe so that I could have some extra to freeze. I really enjoyed this one and can't wait to pull it out again soon!

Lentil Chili

* 2 tsp. olive oil
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1-2 peppers, diced (I had a bag I froze myself)
* 4 tsp. minced garlic (I used jarred)
* 4 Tbsp. chili powder
* 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
* 2 tsp. dried oregano
* 1/4 tsp. red pepper
* 1 (16oz) bag green lentils
* 28oz. of vegetable broth
* 3-6 cups water
* Small can of tomato paste


1. Saute onions, peppers and garlic in a stock pot.

2. Add everything else except tomato paste. Cover and simmer until lentils are soft (about an hour). Make sure to keep an eye on it because you may need to add more water.

3. Add tomato paste, stir, and let simmer another 15 minutes.

4. Enjoy and freeze! I like to top mine with low fat sour cream and 2% shredded cheese. YUM!

Extra-Easy Lasagna

This post is a bit late, but better late than never! For Brian's birthday dinner this year, he found this recipe and asked that I make it for him. He LOVES lasagna, and especially cheesy lasagna, which this definitey was. I actually really liked this recipe and the ease of it all gives my normal lasagna recipe a run for it's money! This is a must try! The original recipe can be found here.

Extra-Easy Lasagna

* 1 lb. lean ground beef
* 4 cups tomato basil sauce (I used whatever I had on hand)
* 9 uncooked lasagna noodles
* 1 (15oz.) container ricotta cheese
* 10oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
* 1/4 cup hot water


1. Brown beef in a large skillet over medium heat. 

2. Stir in pasta sauce.

3. Spread 1/4 of meat mixture in the bottom of a lightly greased 11x7 baking dish. 

4. Layer 3 noodles and 1/3 of ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella.

5. Repeat the process twice. On top layer add more sauce.

6. Add 1/4 cup hot water to edge of pan, then tightly cover with 2 layers of aluminum foil.

7. Bake in 375 degree oven for 45-60 minutes. (Make sure to check on it!)

8. Uncover, then add last bit of mozzarella cheese to top. Bake uncovered another 10 minutes.

8. Best enjoyed with cheesy garlic bread and Robertson King wine (from the Sumner Crest Winery).